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chrissytine's Profile

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Palmier varieties?

I'm on a homemade puff pastry kick, which I like to make into palmiers for parties. Usually I do savory- prosciutto, parmesan and honey mustard, fig jam and serrano ham, aged cheddar and chutney....

I made some really delicious candied ginger ones for a party the other day and now I'm wondering about other sweet fillings, specifically cocoa powder (with lots of sugar). Has anyone made these, or other great Palmier fillings? They're so convenient for a party. Thanks!

Aug 18, 2009
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Last minute Florentine Renaissance H'ors??

I forgot to mention that I also picked up a can of chestnut cream because I read that chestnuts were widely used at that time. But I won't go out for anything else because it's -5 here and I'd have to take my little kids with!

Jan 15, 2009
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Last minute Florentine Renaissance H'ors??

OK so I volunteered to pick up my book club tomorrow nite after hostess cancelled. Book was set in 1490's Florence. Here are my ideas so far...I won't have a lot of time to prep/ cook but it's only 5 or 6 ppl and most eat dinner first.
Turkey bisteeya type thing...a phyllo triangle filled with precooked ground turkey with saffron, ginger, onion, scrambled egg, maybe some nutmeg and clove I'll have to taste as I go along. Powdered sugar and cinnamon on top.
Little fried bread dough half moon shaped pastries filled with chard, pignoli, raisins, a little ricotta and pecorino.
A simple almond flour cake filled with apricot preserves
??? I could use one more thing and some tweaking what I've got. Any advice appreciated, thinks in advance.
I do have a Lynne Rosetto Kaspar recipe for an eggy sweet pasta tart baked in a pie crust I am also considering...
I also bought chickpea flour thinking of socca but I've never made or even had those so I'm leaning against it. Plus I guess it's not really regionally appropriate.

Jan 15, 2009
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Cabbage Rolls

My grandma made them, too. The filling was pork and beef, raw, with cooked bacon and onion also cooked in the bacon fat added. The rice should be almost cooked. A little paprika and garlic. The sauce, which they were cooked in, was canned tomato sauce with brown sugar, cider vinegar, and more paprika.

Grandma layered them in the big oval Dutch Oven with pieces of Kielbasa and large chunks of potato- like medium yukon golds peeled and quartered. SHe brought it to the simmer on the stove then popped it in the oven for a few hours. Then we would top the potatoes with sour cream at the table. Yum. Good luck!

Dec 08, 2008
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Why Did My Sauce Break?

Too much fat, I think. Sometimes you find too much fat breaks the emulsion even of things that were good before you added them, if that makes sense. Like if you add mayo too quickly to more fat it can break completely. Same with cream. Dump it into hot fat and it can separate. Lemon juice sometimes curdles dairy but the way you describe sounds like fat- esp if the chicken was anything but skinless breasts. Pour off the fat, and also make sure you reduce the wine- don't go by cooking time. This recipe sounds like the wine should be reduced to, I'd guess, 2 T or less when you add the cream.

Jun 23, 2008
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Famous wine and food pairings?

After 3 years my wine club is running out of new ideas. I kind of wanted to suggest famous wine and food pairings but after Sauternes and Foie Gras I came up with oysters and Guinness - not even wine- and then my brain froze. Anyone? Thanks.

Apr 16, 2008
chrissytine in Wine

Hell's Kitchen this season - I'm out

It's hard to believe they even tried to choose qualified contestants. I almost feel the show is making fun of people with subtle disabilities. I'm not a super PC person but it does seem mean spirited. The first few seasons I was all for the yelling/abuse because the contestants were such boneheads. I wanted to yell at them myself (line cook training flashbacks!) But this season, some of them- especailly the men -seem borderline special needs.

Apr 08, 2008
chrissytine in Food Media & News

Mom's Chowhound annoyances

My mother asked me to prepare a 4th of July party menu one summer when I was visiting home. It was to be a Southwestern theme with grilled flank steak. Mom was convinced the flank steak would be tough if it wasn't marinated, but I told her no, we'll cook it just right and slice it thin. The day before the party I made a lot of the food, then went out with friends. In the morning I found out she had marinated the steak in some kind of bottled teriyaki junk. It totally clashed with all the other flavors, I was furious and embarassed.
She STILL says "croysant."
She won't buy Kosher salt because it's twice as expensive as iodized. Yes, It's $1.25 more a pound Mom, bust out already!!

Mar 17, 2008
chrissytine in Not About Food


Thanks for the info. Too bad it's gone.

Mar 13, 2008
chrissytine in Manhattan


Scandinavian...isn't there a little place on the street just north of Bloomingdales called [somebody's] Place. I'm blanking. But I used to work with Christer Larson, who was the original Aquavit chef, and this woman was one of his favorite cooks from Sweden. As of a few years ago she had a really delightful small restaurant with less expensive and casual but authentic and delicious food. Her name...was it Ulli? or...does anybody know? This is going to bug me now. I don't live in NY anymore.

Mar 12, 2008
chrissytine in Manhattan


Based on a recipe from Mollie Katzen.
Cut the zucchini into quarters lengthwise and slice out the seedy part. Preheat broiler. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in an ovenproof saute pan. Add garlic, cook breifly, then seasoned zucchini skin side up. Cook over med til lightly golden, careful not to scorch the garlic. Flip the squash, sprinkle with breadcrums and parmesan cheese, and broil until crusty and golden. Yum. Make at least one zucchini per person!

Feb 28, 2008
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Anyone ever make a cookbook?

Like, just for family and friends. I'm thinking Christmas presents and I want to start early. There are a few websites, anyone have any suggestions or comments? Thanks.

Feb 19, 2008
chrissytine in Not About Food

Looking for the best "meat" ravioli filling...steak?

I concurr with pps that a shredded braised meat makes the best meat filling. I use chuck, cook it with red wine and dried porcinis, reduce the sauce, defat it, etc, shred the meat fine and voila. I would actually go for butter that has not been browned because the braised beef already has a very rich, "browned" flavor, kwim? Even a reduced broth would be good. Maybe add a little parsley on top for freshness, or some chives.

Jan 29, 2008
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Best pan for roasting vegetables?

I go to a restaurant supply store- sorry, don't know the brands. You don't have to spend a fortune, maybe $20? My pans have never warped in my home oven and I use high heat often (over 400').

Jan 19, 2008
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Help me tweak a recipe please...

Use pomegranite molasses instead of honey, and a mild vinegar- champagne, or cider perhaps? I say skip the cinnamon, or substitute the merest touch of allspice.

Jan 19, 2008
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Best pan for roasting vegetables?

I use a restaurant style half sheet pan. Those vegies need a lot of space to brown properly.

Jan 19, 2008
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Freezable wine friendly hors ideas please!

Short story: please share your ideas for Hors d'oevres that can go from freezer to oven to table and go well with wine. Not necesarily full blown recipes, just a name, an idea, a list of ingredients...thanks so much in advance.

Longer story: this is for a charity auction for my daughter's preschool. I am donating a Wisconsin wine tasting for 8 (we live in WI, that's why). The item will be wines with tasting notes and frozen hors d'oevres. Plus some cute plates and such. I want the host to be able to just pop them in the oven, or even just thaw them, put them on a plate and that's it. So far most of my ideas involve a crust so I'm especially interested in non bready/crusty stuff. And I'd like to use local ingredients. So far I'm leaning towards Smoked turkey, apple and cheddar empanadas, Blue Cheese gougeres, Roasted butternut squash pizette, Hot-smoked salmon and cream cheese tartlettes, and for sweets chocolate cherry cookies and caramelized pear struedels. I'm not sure I need more but I feel like these should be tweaked or changed. Thanks a lot.

Nov 03, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Food in spoons

I did a fun Vietnamese iced coffee gelee cut into small perfect cubes on those spoons for a cocktail party dessert once. It was fun.

Oct 27, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking


Another way to make a small batch is to let the batter run out of a disposable pastry bag. A lot less mess than using a colander.

Oct 27, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking


I moved from NYC to Milwaukee, and I was a sous chef at a pretty nice place in NYC so pretty much a "foodie". The "high end" dining here can be a disappointment, with a few exceptions, but the ethnic/ mom & pop stuff is pretty good. We do a few weekends in Chicago every year for a fix. But there are other, wonderful things about MKE. We moved from Queens to a 1000 sq ft apt within walking distance from downtown, with a balcony, and it was affordable! You can park downtown. You can probably afford a nice house in a nice area. Going to the theater or concert or sporting event is so much less of a hassle than in NYC that we actually do a lot MORE here.

Roasted vegetable lasagna?

When I make veggie lasagna I like to use bechamel instead of tomato sauce and ricotta. I prefer to roast tomatoes with the other vegetables and use them that way. No boil noodles work well because they soak up a lot of liquid; often vegetable lasagnas can be runny affairs. In fact, a light dusting of breadcrumbs on the veggie layers probably couldn't hurt. I can get a really nice local lightly smoked aged provolone, but many cheeses would be yummy.

Aug 25, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Favorite Tea Sandwich Fillings

Since the top slice of tea sandwiches tends to dry out fast I suggest doing what you can as open faced (for example- use a small round cutter for egg or chicken salad type fillings and top with a small tangle of spicy sprouts), and you can also do wraps on big tortillas making sure to use enough cream cheese so they stay closed and fill them nice and full, then slice into attractive spirals, about 3/4 inch thick.

In addition to the great suggestions above, I like a nice crab and avocado salad with lime and cilantro, and sharp cheddar with ripe tomato, arugula, and a little mayo.

Aug 21, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Do you think I should have been comped?

Personally, I cannot see myself running out of a restaurant in a panicked frenzy while the employees and other patrons continue on as if nothing is amiss. I worked as a chef until I was 7 months pregnant, inhaling all the smoke, rease, etc from the kitchen. Thank god my child does not have 2 heads. Other people live in NYC for their whole pregnancies...the car exhaust! The urine stench on the subway! egads!

Aug 20, 2007
chrissytine in Not About Food

Help me decide

I just looked at the menus and the Aria page woke my teething baby that I had just rocked to sleep with it's mood music (grr). Aside from that I found the menu to lack focus. It's like they laid out buzzwords and built the dishes around that. I would go to Sola (based just on the menus).

Jul 31, 2007
chrissytine in Chicago Area

Texas Sheet Cake

That looks just like my family recipe too! It's really good, even if some people find it too sweet. We have no connection to Texas and aways called it Buttermilk Brownies, though I concede that doesn't make much sense either as it is definately not a brownie.

Jul 25, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking

What causes the metallic aftertaste in my pancakes?

Ditto on the aluminum free baking powder. It makes a big difference.

Jul 15, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Litchi Lime Tarts

Well, my fresh Litchis weren't going to make it to the party so I juiced them and made a curd with equal parts lime juice, which I used to fill bite size tart shells. They were a big hit. As you might expect the lime flavor dominated but the Litchis were discernable, lightening the sharpness of the lime and adding a sort of floral complexity. Highly recommended if you want something different for an Asian fusion dessert.

My other "hit" dessert from the night that I came up with myself was Vietnamese Iced Coffee Gelee, cubed and served in those white Chinese soup spoons. Silly, yes- but cool, smooth, and delicious.

Jul 14, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Lychee curd?

They're pretty ripe and I don't know if they will make it til Friday. I'm going to try the curd unless someone warns me not to...I'll post if it's good. At the risk of flavor overkill, I might use a candied ginger tart shell recipe from Maury Ruvin and make bite size tartlettes.

Jul 11, 2007
chrissytine in Home Cooking

Milwaukee 1st Visit Help

I forgot to say...the corned beef here is different than at your New York Jewish deli. It is cooked until very tender and sliced much thicker, and most always served warm. It's pretty delish. Jakes is good, as is McBobs (on North Ave around 50th st), but both in cruddy neighborhoods.

Milwaukee 1st Visit Help

Late dinner is tough in MKE...go to Elsas , the Knick, or I think Cubanitas serves late. All an easy walk from the Pfister. I lake Ratzshes because the last time I looked at the Maders menu it had some sad attempts to modernize in a California fusion way which is so not cool ina traditional German restaurant. Go to Ratzches and one of you should probably order some type of braised shank (goose or pork, you can't go wrong). Another nice place within walking distance is the County Clare, it's like an Irish Pub. For a fish fry you can walk to try Turner Hall, or for better atmosphere but a longer walk, the Palm Garden at teh Lakefront Brewery. Neither would qualify as best in the city but they're OK and close. Just so you know, you can't just walk outside and get a cab here like you can in New York so you may want to stay close to the Pfister.